Have you ever looked at that perfectly put together mom, with her photo shoot ready make-up and the latest, most fashionable outfit on? It’s totally color coordinated with all the patterns to match, and not a stain or wrinkle in sight. Then you get a glimpse of her smiling, happy children who say “Please” and “Thank You” in such a calm loving way; they are well dressed and wearing super clean- stylish clothes with not a tantrum or juice spill in sight…
Or what about the mom who has everything color coordinated, her entire kitchen organized, she’s early for everything and even bakes homemade cookies, brownies, cupcakes AND cake pops for the school bake sale, while working a full-time job, cooking dinner from scratch every night, and driving her children to all of their extra curricular activities, without dripping a sweat or shedding a tear… and you say to yourself “Wow! She’s a really good mom. How does she do that?!!” moreover, “How can I do that?”
Then you start to question yourself and compare yourself- but in a negative way. You start wishing you could do this and do that and begin to question if you are a good mom or not! Trust me! I’ve been there way too many times than I’d like to admit. Skimming through Pinterest, talking to the mom at the park, watching YouTube videos for tips, searching through Google late at night looking for anything to enhance my “Good mom Game”… but then I realized something…There are a Million ways to be a good mom! (insert dramatic music and a movie worthy gasp) You just have to find your own way!
That’s right mama! You are a good mom in your own way, and most times your children think you’re the best mom (no matter how many times, they throw tantrums, scream, cry and simply act like they don’t hear or understand anything you say!)
Once I took a step back after staying up way too late looking for a thousand Bento box style lunch spreads or taking notes on how to do a 68 step DIY home organization project (which I honestly would NEVER even start), I realized that I had to determine what was going to work FOR me, my children, my home and ultimately the lifestyle I wanted to live.
Now there is nothing wrong with being inspired by other moms and even researching new ways of doing things to improve an area you actually want to improve. The problem comes in when this desire to “improve” stems from comparing ourselves to others and totally dismissing and devaluing what we already bring to the table as moms! Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things, that would absolutely constitute being a “bad mom”, but barring those extremes, if you’re reading this, I’m positive that you fare pretty well and don’t fall into that category.
So I implore you mama. Don’t be so hard on yourself! We all have situations that we can look back on and say “I wouldn’t do that again.” or “Next time I’ll handle that differently.”
We may all desire to have a smooth running day, without a single mistake, care, tantrum, spill, or raised voice; we all want some version of a clean house that is visitor ready at the drop of a dime; we want the perfect, seamless bedtime routine without yelling, tears and looking at the clock wishing the kiddos would literally just go to bed- and stay in it! - but the truth is motherhood has a learning curve. We all have different ways of thinking, different personalities, different lifestyles, different views and different goals… and so do our children.
So write it on a post it. Make it your screen saver on your phone. Create a picture out of it. Recite it everyday. Say it loudly so your neighbors can hear you. As long as you keep this notion in the forefront of your mind, you can embrace each day of motherhood with fresh perspective and grace, knowing that you can literally never run out of ways because - There are a Million ways to be a good mom! and that includes YOUR way!